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Bertrand Piccard by Mark Arpels Amez-Droz


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Biography of Bertrand Piccard as a leader in all parts of life, written by Wharton MBA student for a course on leadership from the point of view of the whole person.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Bertrand Piccard by Mark Arpels Amez-Droz

  2. 2. Bertrand Piccard Leadership Biography 2 “When I was a child, I read books about conquering space. […] All of a sudden, when I met the astronauts who piloted those rockets, I understood they were normal human beings. The only thing which differentiated them from other people was the fact that they pursued their dreams and passions."
  3. 3. Major accomplishments and failures Leadership Biography 3 • Practicing psychiatrist • Is married with 3 daughters • Comes from a family of pioneers and explorers; wanted to become an astronaut as a child • As a young adult, was a pioneer and champion in hang-gliding and hot-air-ballooning, while pursuing his career as a psychiatrist • Was the first man to go around the world in a hot air balloon (after 2 failed attempts) • Leader of the Solar Impulse project – the first solar powered plane to fly around the world, raising awareness on renewable energies and sustainability • Founder of the Winds of Hope foundation, which focuses on neglected causes of human suffering; and the World Alliance for Clean Technologies, for the promotion of renewables energies
  4. 4. What he did to integrate different parts of life for mutual gain Leadership Biography 4 • Strives to achieve as much overlap between his four domains – Even though his work (psychiatry) and passion did not originally overlap, he experimented to find projects which brought those together – Community is an integral part of his adventures through philanthropy and working with friends – He brings his family and other stakeholders along and ensures they profit from it, like his wife who took on more and more challenging managerial roles in his projects organizations • Maintains a spiritual lens at all times in all aspects of life in order to ensure coherence amongst domains – Meditates every day – Worked to reconcile his job, traditional western psychiatry, with spirituality and meditation • Experiments to further his goals and those of his stakeholders – Quit hang-gliding after a near death accident and his family asking him to quit; which is how he took on hot-air-ballooning, a safer sport which propelled him as a pioneer
  5. 5. Lesson we can learn Leadership Biography 5 • Dreams and passions provide huge opportunities to find overlap between domains and should therefore not be neglected (or at least not for too long) • What can initially start as a ‘selfish’ hobby can be transformed and reframed to serve others • Bringing our stakeholders along with us, while not necessary to achieve success in one or the other domain, is mandatory to achieve concurrent success in all domains
  6. 6. Sources Leadership Biography 6 • Harvard Business Review: travail-dune-vie-bertrand-piccard-pionnier-de-laviation-solaire/ • TED talks: • Liberation Magazine: bonne-alttitude_1127261 • Wikipedia: